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It is a wonderful life

By: Sharon Jackson

I absolutely adore this time of year! See expression below.

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Bulky sweaters. Knitted socks. Hot holiday beverages. “I could go on forever baby!”

My dad and I used to pull out several boxes of tangled strings of large light bulbs from the attic and attempt to wrestle them into a straight line.

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After many hours and a few curse words, we would finally attach them ever so precisely to the outline of our home. I am certain we had the best looking house in the neighborhood.

For this reason I get a bit nostalgic on Peacock Lane: a block in Southeast Portland where each vintage Tudor home has been entirely decorated since 1920.

My mother and I would watch A Christmas Story every year [I seriously believe the movie is an accurate representation of her childhood holidays] and laugh hysterically at the leg lamp catastrophe and terrible gifts from distant relatives until we would cry.

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My first holiday in Portland, I started to feel a bit homesick.

For this reason I am always present at Portland’s Annual Tree Lighting ceremony in Pioneer Square : the official start to the holiday season with the lighting of the 75-foot Douglas fir and a sing-along of all the favorite holiday carols by a family of random strangers, even in the pouring rain!

My Insight into CLSB

By: Marilynn Sandoval

I’ve become a huge fan of the new Collaborative Life Sciences Building on the South Waterfront. Sure, the transportation there might not be ideal for some folks. But the new labs, lecture halls, research space and restaurants are really nice.

Photo provided by: Portland State University

Photo provided by: Portland State University

I’m a science major, and I started at PSU the same year they began construction in 2011. I didn’t know if they’d be done on time for me to experience having classes in the new building, but they must have had amazing people working on it, because it opened this fall. I’m sure we have broken in this building quite fast. Almost every seat in the 400-student lecture hall is filled from class to class.

The most exciting part about this building is that we get to interact with students from OSU and OHSU. As my chemistry professor put it, “You never know who you can run into in this building.” I hope to experience the new labs and research space and meet more students from other schools next term.

I also enjoy taking the streetcar there for free. You just have to play a game of puzzle trying to fit everyone after class has ended. I’m there around lunchtime, so I’m grateful when my stomach is growling and there is a Starbucks located just right in front of the classroom. Oh, and there is an Elephants Delicatessen, too!

However, one thing the building is missing is a spot to print papers quickly. If anyone does know about a printing spot in there, please share your knowledge! I’m still trying to figure out the building myself.

Has anyone else been able to explore the new building? If so, what did you think about it?

Three Tips for Picking Classes

By Grace Carroll

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So you’ve just gotten a message to your .pdx e­mail that it’s time to register for classes.  Maybe you have a list of subjects you’ve always wanted to study, or maybe you just know the next Spanish class you need to take. Where ever you are in the process, here are some things to think about when registering:

● How often is the course offered? Keep in mind that some classes are not offered every term at PSU, while others are. For instance, most TOP: (topic) classes change each term, and if you find one specific to your interest, that should perhaps take priority over the Intro to Queer Studies class (a UNST Cluster course) that you’ve always wanted to take.

● What are your most productive times of the day? Sure, you’re sick of getting up with an early schedule, but maybe you’re just burnt out by evening classes. If you’re falling asleep in class, you may need to rearrange your day. Consider when you are most motivated during the day, and when you be best able to do your homework.

● Who is the professor? It’s true, you don’t always get much of a choice. But when you do, looking into your professors’ backgrounds can be a deciding factor in which classes you take. Portland State’s website has profiles for many of its faculty, so check the department pages for your courses. If you don’t find anything there, RateMyProfessors.com is your next step!

Still have questions? TALK TO YOUR ADVISER!

Please Silence Your Cell Phone and Enjoy the Show!

post 1 picBy: Chelsea Ware

For a college student like me who is on a tight budget, going to a mainstream movie theater can be tough. $11 for a ticket? $6 for popcorn? All for a movie that’s a remake or just full of plot holes and lousy acting… However, there is still a way for students to enjoy movies without breaking the bank right here on campus. 5th Avenue Cinema, Portland State University’s student run movie theater, is free with your student I.D. You also get a complimentary bag of popcorn.  One to two movies are featured every weekend at 7:30 and 9. It is a great place to check out vintage titles such as “Gremlins” and “Return to Oz” while supporting your fellow students.

If you are new to campus, it is a wonderful way to meet other people because it is definitely not your conventional movie theater. One of the coolest things about 5th Avenue Cinema is that the patrons know how to have an exciting time. When I was last there a few weeks ago to watch the Japanese horror flick Pulse,   people gathered in the lobby before the show to talk and munch on their popcorn.  During the movie, the audience was cracking witty jokes and strangers were laughing together about the characters’ poor decisions.  The small theater size and enthusiasm from the crowd made the amusement palpable, and it was hard not to be infected from the humor that buzzed around.

If you haven’t already, I highly suggest that you check out some of their screenings. All upcoming titles and show times can be found at http://5thavenuecinema.org/.

A bike?

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By: Zaira Carranza

Portland State University is located in one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world. Recently, I have been thinking about commuting by bike because I have learned how much it can benefit not only myself but also the environment. You gain money in your wallet, and lose inches off your waistline. If I’m willing to ride a bike instead of taking a car, it would mean that  there would be one less car on the road therefore,  less carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, and we will end up a bit more healthier. Would you do the same to save your planet and your wallet?

Grass really is always greener

Grass is always greener
By: Teddi Faller

Since moving back to my hometown of Portland as a transfer student from UC San Diego, I’ve repeatedly asked myself where I was/am happier. Happiness cannot be measured quantifiably, but I try anyway. Usually it turns into a series of points and categories.

The city? I have a different answer depending on the weather, and on where I’m asking myself this question. I’m not thrilled about rain, but I like having a holiday season that actually feels like a holiday season. Plus, nothing beats the realization that I could spend my lunch break at Powell’s – the bookseller haven. I’ve switched out palm trees and an ocean view for high(er) levels of caffeine and a compulsive book buying problem.

The school? To be honest, I’ve cursed both schools’ names, and for pretty much the same reasons: I just do not want to do school sometimes.

Then come the harder questions.

The people? I spent so much of my time at UCSD missing my friends back home, and now I do the same thing about my southern California friends.

My job? The only question that gives UCSD a resounding POINT in its column. My job at the UCSD Bookstore came into my life at a most crucial time and I miss it like crazy. Technically I do the same thing at my new job, but it’s awkward because I don’t have the same base of support at my new job that I did at UCSD.

Yes I miss UCSD, and no PSU isn’t solving all my problems – which, of course, I believed it would at my height of homesickness. But I understand that different things don’t mean bad things, and simply replacing old things with comparable things does not mean it’s as good or better. But that’s okay. Some days it truly, in my bones, bothers me that I’m not 100 percent thrilled with the way my life is going, but if I was ecstatic all the time would it not get boring? On the flip side, when the bad days do come, is my discontent only amplified by the fact that a “normal” day is only a lesser level of discontent?

I guess my only options to solve this “problem” are a) smile and fake it, or b) get over it.

Four Ways to Fund Your PSU Education

By: Andreea Nica

Focusing on your studies is a full-time job in itself. When you add finances and funding to the mix, it can quickly become very stressful for any student. Good news is that Portland State University has many funding opportunities available to undergraduate and graduate students.Featured image

Here are four opportunities worth investigating:

  1. Graduate Assistantships: GA-ships are listed on the website as they become available. I recommend checking for updates on a weekly basis. The assistantships are targeted toward graduate students, and typically include tuition remission and compensation depending on the appointment. Make sure you scroll to the bottom of the page where all the assistantships are listed.
  2. Scholarships: Every year PSU offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to apply for a wide range of scholarships. Funding is dependent on many different variables, including academic achievement, financial need, diversity, disabilities and more. Be sure to check the website for upcoming deadlines. Create an account to begin the process.
  3. Student Employment: If you’re looking to earn extra cash while gaining skills in a certain area, finding employment through PSU may be the avenue to explore. Go to the “if you’re a current student” section, click the CareerConnect link and sign in with your Odin account. Thereafter, fill out your profile and gain access to available student jobs.
  1. University Studies: The University Studies Program at PSU is a great resource to develop your mentoring and teaching skills. If you have teaching experience, or are looking to enhance your competencies as an instructor, applying to be a peer mentor is an ideal option to funding your studies. Alternatively, explore opportunities to teach within the SINQ or Senior Capstone

What are you waiting for? Go get funded!

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